Call me Old

Or ... Whatever happened to Common Sense?

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by Frances Wosmek
Chapter Fourteen

I am old. I like the sound of it. It reminds me of Einstein and owls. This is my reward for survival through a lot of what scores of my healthier, wealthier, smarter or more attractive peers did not.

I am already past the time limit set by insurance planners for females of my kind ... even though I am not bent on exceeding any set limit past ordinary common sense.

Longevity, in itself, cannot be sole reward for all one has to go through to get there. There are other, often surprisingly satisfying benefits included in the package. Some of these are awarding me indescribable pleasure already in this, my apprenticeship to "over the Hill".

  1. For the first time in my life, I more often exceed expectations that fail to live up to them. (Never mind that what most others expect of me has dropped off to somewhere near the level of a shrug.)
  2. People compliment me all the time that I am still able to stand erect – and move forward (at my age!). Those are most likely to be youngsters. My aging peers are too intent on catching the sign of my first tremor or a slip of the memory to notice my more durable time-worthy attributes.
  3. Another point worth mentioning is that great looking young men can (an will) discuss all manner of soul-baring subjects with me – totally devoid of any ulterior motive whatsoever (from either side).

There is something intensely satisfying in joining the company of old wine, cave paintings and the first wheel. An aura of mystery clings to anything mellowed with age.

My beginning was spent in forgetting the mystery – the middle in a mad scramble to decipher, understand and control it. Only at this far end of my years, when there is nothing to lose and nothing to gain, am I free to embrace whatever it is – without any need whatsoever of analysis or apology.

The experiences I have had are firmly fixed in my being, In fact, without them my being would not be. No one can erase the past. The future is built on it. We who live, or have lived, have left, or are leaving our indelible marks on a future that inherits the past. The setting sun is not the end of it. Somewhere else it is rising ... and it is the same sun.

I was halfway into a life of having striven to duplicate my peers before I realized that the only cash currency in my account was the difference.

I have always loved antiques. Now I am becoming one – a singular life-form having evaded destruction, erosion or disintegration for longer than the line on a chart would dare indicate – or experts in the field speculate.

Every day I move a little closer to becoming a priceless specimen of unmatched endurability. I bear the proud stamp of time, weathered to the rich patina of old leather, lace, pottery shards and spear shafts.

I am becoming increasingly rare, moving into exclusivity along with Nefertiti, archeological excavations and digs – a precious, faded remnant of yesterday's splendor.

Breathe carefully, lest you waft me away in a puff of dust.

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